Healing From Within – Spiritual Wisdom in Literature and Life
In today’s episode of “Healing From Within” Host Sheryl Glick welcomes Allan G. Hunter PhD author of “Gratitude and Beyond” a professor of literature at Curry College in Massachusetts. Allan was born in England and completed his degrees at Oxford University emerging with a doctorate in English Literature. After working at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s campus and at Peper Harrow Therapeutic Community for disturbed adolescents, he moved to the US. Other books include” Spiritual Hunger,” and “The Path of Synchronicity.” “The Sanity Manual” and “Life Passages” also written by Dr. Hunter are both books based on his interactive writing exercises proven in counseling sessions and classes to offer ways to uncover the presence of a series of archetypes within our writing, which leads to an understanding of the different stages of spiritual development.
Today in discussing the 5 Point Star or Pentacle that Dr. Hunter has devised and the stories and wisdom of the ages expressed in the oldest and finest literature, we are able to explain much about our origins and our continuing search for the divine in each of us.
Allan begins his own personal search for a clearer view of what he wanted to experience in his own life by sharing some of the physical challenges he experienced in his early life. Through his health issues he realized that pride had kept him in a work situation and in a relationship that was largely flawed. Allan discovered the real story for his life threatening illness was that everything in his life had to be rearranged. Many people find themselves in such circumstances but fail to acknowledge the real problems, and spend years blaming outside influences or people for their own distress and loss of joy and well being. Allan was fortunate to find an accomplished acupuncturist who assisted him in connecting to his own energy system and to find ways to release blockages and thought patterns that were no longer viable for his growth and development. As an intuitive Reiki energy practitioner Sheryl always suggests client try various energy healing sessions including modalities such as Reiki, Cranio Sacral Therapy, Chiropractic Adjustments, Massage, Reflexology, Touch Therapy, Chakra Polarity Healing, Reconnect Healing, Quantum Healing, Acupuncture, and any other alternative means for healing offered to them in the search to find what combination of therapies and practitioners may provide the most effective personal team to support their evolving life style. These energy treatments offer the means to know your body and internal energy system in a way to better adapt to life’s emotional, spiritual, and physical issues.
In recognizing a major life passage certain words jumped out to Allan: pride, fear of failure, rejection or loss, personal responsibility, self actualization, physical and spiritual needs and control issues. It became clear to Allan that we can’t help anyone if we don’t help and develop our own perspective for what is right for us first. In becoming more comfortable in our own skin, we learn to give up the need to control others and focus more on our own emotions learning to know ourselves in a more mature and authentic way looking past the values of others to discover and resonate with our own wisdom and unique talents.
Dr. Hunter wrote, ”I didn’t see the error of my ways until much later..The core of it all was this: I wanted to use my intellect to understand people and solve their problems. Unfortunately there are some things that cannot be comprehended effectively by the intellect alone: they can only be understood by the heart. I was afraid of emotions, although I didn’t allow myself to know it. You go on to say you hadn’t solved your own problems yet pride and purposeful stupidity does that to all of us.” Sheryl is reminded after reading this thought that years ago in Canada at The International Spiritual Federation Conference, she was told by a medium that she had to stop using her head and begin to use her heart energy more and she would be a medium. The source of this statement the Swedish medium revealed was Sheryl’s mom Ceil in spirit, and the young medium proceeded to hand Sheryl a drawing of the woman who had given her this message. Amazed, Sheryl recognized a younger version of her mother. Sheryl years later used this drawing as the cover of her first book, “Life Is No Coincidence-The Life and Afterlife Connection.”
In Allan’s research into Ayurvedic Medicine he mentioned a name for a state or surrender which allows the mind to heal. It is called Cosmic Awareness and is a return to the real energies of the Universe that allows us to connect to our deepest needs and experiences and to let go of the frightened parts of the Self we sometimes call the Ego. Dr. Hunter suggests that during his near death experience he did not see visions of people from the past, or hear voices, or have dreams but he did enter a state of quiet, calm and emptiness – a place of higher consciousness. In that state Allan realized there is no reason anyone should suffer and almost destroy themselves, because there is a way to come into alignment with the core of who we truly are.
Suffering it seems is very often something we do to ourselves because of the mental pictures we have of who we think we must be in order to fit with other people’s expectations. According to Dr. Hunter we often respond with anxiety from our personality or point of identification of the mind or ego. However, the personality is not the Whole of who we are…It is the part we have created as a way of fitting into the world and this part of Self is afraid of not being lovable and since love is something we all need we hope to get more love by being better than others or superior in some way. These attempts to secure love leads to unrealistic expectations and actions that remove us from the loving impulses of the heart that would actually attract more love. During a personal crisis or loss resistance is lowered and we can recognize how the psyche affects the body often resulting in pain or disease. Dr. Hunter mentions Gary Zukav author of “The Seat of The Soul,” who described Authentic Power as a creative energy that runs through every moment of the Universe bringing us to the conclusion that our souls are connected eternally to this source of life and each other.
Dr. Hunter describes several great pieces of literature among them” Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” a medieval poem where it can be seen that” this is a tale of the fight between the forces of natural life-loving desires and the forces of moral rectitude.” This tale as almost all great literature suggests we have to think about the aspects of who we are spiritual or physical beings or both and recognize the powerful emotions that affect us and not allow these emotions to take over. In the quest for self-realization and self-actualization we learn the true purpose for a physical life …to learn love in all its forms. The story is also a contest of the higher self or soul with the frightened part of the personality or ego.
In the story of Molly a client suffering from a painful bladder ailment that traditional treatments were unable to aleve, certain alternative methods such as acupuncture, herbal medicine, chiropractic, yoga and meditation allowed her to see herself with new perspective and that created her healing. Dr. Hunter writes…She no longer saw herself as a body with a problem but as a soul attached to a series of energies all of which needed to realign with the primary energy of the universe. Her illness reflected years of not listening to her body but of being at war with it and ignoring what her soul was telling her…
This leads us to the five interconnected values in a Pentacle Design which are at the top of the star Gratitude and then Beauty, Innocence Humility and Place in Nature. In the center of the Pentacle is LOVE. The Pentacle is an ancient mystical sign relating to Venus-Goddess of Love and the planet Venus when observed from Earth seems to trace this 5 star symbol. Furthermore the Pentacle was also the sign of the totality of all things related to the four directions: north south east west and the four elements: earth water air fire and the fifth element-Spirit This mathematical symbol shows how the dimensions of physical life fit a mathematically perfect Wholeness and relate the physical life to our spiritual component.
As a counselor Dr. Hunter is able to share how aspects of our mind often keep us stuck in the same behaviors and compulsions keeping us from reaching that moment of insight and awareness of gratitude beauty innocence humility place of nature and love. Dr. Hunter uses the term CIRCLES and further suggests and Sheryl agrees that as you look at people around you in your life….since like energies always attract everyone around you who is an aspect of who you are…again this is a form of circling and if they are dull, you are dull, if they are unkind you are unkind….Once you see this and change the fearful part of yourself, YOU CAN CHANGE!
Sheryl suggests that by cutting down on circling or as she sees it being in a state of Denial to resist change as change is so hard for most people: it then becomes possible to approach self-defeating behaviors that continually give us the same unsuccessful results. We can only move forward by recognizing our own behavior and not blaming outside influences. For this to happen, it means we must accept ourselves as more than physical beings and know that we are part of the interconnected expanse of LIFE ENERGY AND DIVINE VALUES….for Sheryl these divine values are actually THE 5 ASPECTS OF AWARENESS Dr. Hunter described in the Pentacle Symbol.
Dr. Hunter shows us the best ways to utilize gratitude for personal self-actualization:
1 Realism…a resilient person will look at the situation and see things the way they are..at least for NOW.
2 Begins to ask…What can I do right now to make things a little better.
3 Real gratitude requires mental toughness and to keep one’s brain and mind working and not allow mental laziness to take over.
4 To have a companion or a buddy and they may not be one you would chose but still looking past the imperfections and finding the core essence of the other. This is a process of discovering the innocence in oneself and in the other person.
5 A sense that this is not just a random world filled with random cruelty. We may call this faith of a belief as long as we realize that those who are resilient are those who believe there is more than just here and now.
Dr. Allan Hunter has successfully merged his appreciation and perceptions of classic stories from literature, science and spirituality in his book, “Gratitude and Beyond” to offer readers a way to shed light on many issues that hold individual away from discovering their inner wisdom and talents and the means to live a healthy life free of the illusions and restrictions of our egos. In sharing his personal journey to health and how to access inner resources for moving out of and beyond circling patterns and behaviors, we find the means to achieve peace, love, resilience and health allowing each of us to see the heroes and heroic lives we are creating each day with our thoughts and reaching out to others. I highly recommend Gratitude and Beyond and share this final thought that Dr. Hunter wrote….”As we move from a feeling of generosity to one of compassion, in which we feel the equality of others with ourselves, we move towards a sense of allowing which includes accepting others and the world as it is, no matter what happens. At this stage we access “Selfless love.”